Home | Community | Message Board

Everything Mushrooms
Please support our sponsors.

Feedback and Administration >> Growery News Service

Welcome to the Growery Message Board! You are experiencing a small sample of what the site has to offer. Please login or register to post messages and view our exclusive members-only content. You'll gain access to additional forums, file attachments, board customizations, encrypted private messages, and much more!

Jump to first unread post. Pages: 1
Oxford comma advocate
 User Gallery

Registered: 11/02/14
Posts: 1,107
Last seen: 13 days, 17 hours
Referendum on marijuana prosecution sought in Nashville
    #766122 - 01/17/15 12:44 PM (1 year, 9 months ago)

A push is underway for Nashvillians to get to vote on whether local Metro dollars go toward the prosecution of adults for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

But the move for Davidson County's first-ever public referendum on marijuana faces an obvious legal hurdle — whether the change in city ordinance would violate state law, which says that marijuana possession of any amount is a crime.

The Tennessee chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws plans to launch a petition signature drive to add a charter amendment to August's Metro general election ballot that seeks to creatively steer clear of a state law conflict.

Rather than explicitly calling for decriminalization, the proposed amendment says that the Metro government shall not appropriate any resources supporting, nor in any way monetarily support, the criminal prosecution of an adult for possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana.

It also includes a "private right of action" provision that would give citizens standing to sue if Metro violates this law. If an individual or organization prevails in court, the amendment reads, they would receive $1,000 in damages and payment of all costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

"It's really revolutionary in that there is some consequences for the government if they elected to go forward," said Doak Patton, president of TN-NORML.

"We would like to see resources devoted toward violent criminals, thieves and people who are needing to be locked away instead of nonviolent offenders," he said. "That's one of the reasons we've been pushing this."

The group would need to collect 6,877 charter amendment signatures — 10 percent of the August 2014 general election turnout — by May 18 to qualify for the August ballot. Signatures, and the amendment itself, would need to be certified by the Davidson County Election Commission.

Other legal questions are almost certain to arise, however, that could thwart the effort.

Metro Department of Law Director Saul Solomon called it "premature" to comment on the implications of the charter amendment if it were added to the ballot and approved by voters. But he pointed to the possible conflict:

"These types of measures are fraught with difficulty because they may contradict or controvert relevant state and/or federal law," Solomon said.

Daniel Horwitz, a Nashville attorney representing TN-NORML, however, argued the charter amendment only deals with the expenditure of Metro dollars — he said it "does not attempt to undermine or in any way undermine state or federal or state law." The majority of the Davidson County District Attorney's Office's $8 million budget is comprised of Metro general fund dollars.

"This is a novel attempt at de-funding prosecution of low-level marijuana offenses," he said. "This initiative certainly isn't a panacea, but once enacted, it would ensure that no more Metro dollars are wasted prosecuting adults for the simple possession of small amounts of marijuana going forward."

Horwitz is also representing a group called Democracy Nashville, which is behind a second charter amendment that calls for a so-called "ban the box" amendment aimed at applicants for city jobs.

It would say Metro can't ask job applicants about criminal history on initial job applications unless it is required by state or federal law for that particular position. The amendment, however, would not prevent inquiries into a person's criminal history during job interviews.

An ordinance that would have achieved a similar end died in the Metro Council last year.

As a charter amendment, it too would need to meet the same 6,877-vote threshold as the marijuana-related proposal to make it on the August ballot.

"There's a growing awareness throughout the country that the criminal justice system is broken, and that the consequences of mass incarceration — both in terms of lives and dollars lost — are unacceptable," Horwitz said. "Each of these amendments would fix a small piece of that much larger problem."


Signature this, ho.

Post Extras: Print Post  Remind Me! Notify Moderator
Jump to top. Pages: 1

Feedback and Administration >> Growery News Service

Similar ThreadsPosterViewsRepliesLast post
* US: Montana law is harsh; sentences vary for marijuana use, distribution Shaggy420 799 0 04/25/11 05:14 PM
by Shaggy420
* Eric Holder Would Be 'Glad To Work With Congress' To Reschedule Marijuana CrushNazT 985 3 04/11/14 11:32 PM
by CrushNazT
* Obama Ends Medical Marijuana Raids in 13 States geokillsA 3,216 13 10/27/09 12:52 AM
by Keith22
* Colorado OKs marijuana credit union SleepAid 212 0 12/10/14 09:54 AM
by SleepAid
* Detroiters May Vote on Legal Marijuana SpaceMonkey 875 0 05/08/10 03:57 PM
by SpaceMonkey
* US: Missoula District Court: Jury pool in marijuana case stages mutiny Shaggy420 2,289 10 01/01/11 06:20 PM
by muse42
* Eric Holder Says DOJ Will Let Washington, Colorado Marijuana Laws Go Into Effect resincoatedlungs 822 0 08/30/13 02:14 AM
by resincoatedlungs
* TIME magazine; A New Way to Fight Mexico's Vicious Cartels: Legalizing Marijuana camelslaper13 2,665 5 08/17/11 10:54 AM
by Thebooedocksaint

Extra information
You cannot start new topics / You cannot reply to topics
HTML is disabled / BBCode is enabled
Moderator: geokills
269 topic views. 0 members, 9 guests and 13 web crawlers are browsing this forum.
[ Toggle Favorite | Print Topic | Stats ]
Search this thread:

Please support our sponsors.

Copyright 1997-2016 Mind Media. Some rights reserved.

Generated in 0.048 seconds spending 0.007 seconds on 13 queries.